Our Team

The Foundation will not be able to succeed in its objectives without the great team that is working behind it. The Foundation is extremely grateful that all the staff, committee members and advisors are working for it on a pro bono basis.

All of them are deeply motivated by the work that the Foundation does and feel very passionate about its cause. Their goal is very simple: they all hope to be able to help patients in a meaningful way.

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Supervisory Committee


Barbara YU

Barbara YU


Barbara Yu is the co-founder and co-CEO of YH2 Capital, an investment firm that adopts a long-term investment approach. Prior to founding YH2 Capital, Barbara was the Head of Asia of Eton Park Capital Management from 2006 to 2010 and was responsible for Eton Park’s public and private investments in Asia.

In her role, Barbara founded, built and managed the Asia portfolio business of Eton Park since its inception in 2006. ​

Prior to joining Eton Park in 2006, Barbara spent five years at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong where she rose to the position of the Head of the firm’s Principal Strategies Group in the Asia Pacific region. The Group encompassed the proprietary investing business of the equities division at Goldman. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Barbara worked at Morgan Stanley in New York and Hong Kong, where she focused on mergers, acquisitions and restructuring.

Barbara graduated from Cambridge University in 1998 with a BA in Law, double first class honors. Barbara was awarded the N. Diaz Scholarship for Law and Norton Rose Prize for Commercial Law. She was also a Jardine Scholar.





Yen How TAI

Yen How TAI


Yen How Tai is the co-founder and co-CEO of YH2 Capital, an investment firm that adopts a long-term investment approach. Prior to founding YH2 Capital, Yen was an entrepreneur and investor. In 1999, he founded an online real estate company and grew it to be the biggest online property business in Hong Kong. After selling the business, Yen branched out into real estate investment and development in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. ​

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Yen worked at Investor AB's private equity arm in Asia. Yen started his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company's in Greater China office, where he advised governments and leading multinational corporations in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, in the telecommunications, consumer products, information technology, government policies and retail sectors. ​

Yen graduated from Harvard University in 1996 with a BA in Economics. Yen was an ASEAN Scholar.





Sean TAI

Sean TAI


Sean Tai is the General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Citrin Foundation. In this role, Sean formulates the foundation’s terms and conditions for research funding. He leads the contracting process for the foundation’s research funding.

Sean also oversees the foundation’s legal, regulatory and operational matters, including developing and updating its policies and frameworks.

He is an accomplished lawyer with significant experience in M&A, joint venture, private equity, real estate investment, debt financing, fund raising, regulatory compliance and restructuring.

Previously, Sean held leadership positions. He was the Asia Pacific Head of Legal of Bain, a leading global management consulting company. Prior to moving in-house, Sean was a Partner of Paul Hastings, a leading US law firm and had worked in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. He represented international clients in closing a long list of complex, high-value, cross-border transactions. His professional accomplishments have been recognized with various professional awards.

Sean graduated with an LL.B. degree in 2000 from King’s College London. He also graduated from Harvard Business School’s executive program for leadership development in June 2018. He is passionate about using his professional knowledge, skills and experience to help those in needs.

 





Dr. Yen Foung TAI

Dr. Yen Foung TAI


Dr. Tai, MBBS MRCP PHD, is a consultant neurologist and Clinical Senior Lecturer at Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College London. He graduated with first class honours from the University of Sydney medical school.

He underwent clinical neurology training in Cambridge and London, and obtained his PhD at Imperial College London.

He has a research background in using functional imaging to study the pathogenesis and treatment responses of neuroprotective therapy in neurodegenerative diseases. More recently, he is also interested in using technology and neuromodulation, including deep brain stimulation, to improve the treatment of movement disorders. He is also experienced in setting up open access patient registry for clinical trials.





TAN Hee Joek

TAN Hee Joek


Hee Joek studied law at Exeter College, Oxford University on a Singapore Government Overseas Merit Scholarship. He returned to Singapore after graduating in 1994 and served his national service in the Legal Office of the Defence Procurement Division of the Ministry of Defence.

Thereafter, he was deployed to serve his scholarship bond in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, spending more than 8 years in government service in the Civil Division and Criminal Justice Division as a State Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor. Hee Joek joined a leading major law firm in the first half of 2005 before joining partnership in the present firm in April 2009. ​

Hee Joek was formerly on the Panel of Lead Counsel on Supreme Court’s Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences and participates in the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme




Foundation Manager


Taeko CHIBA

Taeko CHIBA


Being the Foundation Manager, Taeko Chiba supports the research projects that the Foundation has funded by talking directly to researchers, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. She also engages in activities of the Foundation to support the patients/families in many different ways. 

Prior to joining the Citrin Foundation, Taeko worked in a stock brokerage firm and a hedge fund in Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. 

Taeko moved to US when she was 18. She graduated with Bachelor degree in Psychology and in Communications from Western Washington University. She is a mother of 2, living in Yokohama, Japan.




Scientific Committee

Chairman

Takeyori SAHEKI, MD, PhD

Takeyori SAHEKI, MD, PhD


Dr. Takeyori Saheki graduated from Graduate School of Medicine, Tokushima University in 1970, and he got a PhD degree at Tokushima University. In 1980, he was appointed as Professor of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University. At present, he is a Guest Researcher at Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences.

Dr. Saheki characterized a type of hepatocerebral disease biochemically as adult-onset type II citrullinemia (CTLN2). He discovered the causative gene for CTLN2 and showed that the same gene is the cause of neonatal intrahepatic cholestasis (NICCD). He named the diseases citrin deficiency, and identified the gene encoding mitochondrial aspartate glutamate carrier. Also, Prof. Saheki invented a mouse model for citrin deficiency, citrin and mitochondrial glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase double-KO mouse, and by using the model, characterized pathophysiology of citrin deficiency and developed novel therapeutic procedures for the disease. ​

Academic Awards: in 2000, from Japanese Society for Inherited Metabolic Diseases, and in 2003 from the Japan Society of Human Genetics.




Members

Jorgina SATRÚSTEGUI, PhD

Jorgina SATRÚSTEGUI, PhD


Dr. Jorgina Satrústegui is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Centro de Biologia Molecular Severo Ochoa (CBMSO), of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Satrústegui obtained her PhD in Madrid, carried out postdoctoral research in Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard) and the Johnson Foundation (UPenn), and was appointed as Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid in 1993. She leads a research laboratory which over the years focused on the study of a new system to transduce calcium signals to mitochondria, which relies on the use of calcium regulated mitochondrial carriers. These are:

  1. the aspartate-glutamate carriers, AGC1/ Aralar/ Slc25a12 and AGC2/ Citrin/ Slc25a13, components of the malate aspartate NADH shuttle; and
  2. the ATP-Mg/Pi carriers, SCaMC1/ APC1/ Slc25a24, SCaMC2/ APC3/ Slc25a25, and SCaMC3/ APC2/ Slc25a23 which participate in regulating the total adenine nucleotide content of mitochondria.

She is specifically interested in their role in transducing calcium signals to mitochondria in neurons, as compared to the role of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter, and she has addressed these studies with the help of knock-out (KO) mice. Another main concern of her lab is to understand the role of these carriers in human disease. Particularly, disease related to mutations in these carriers, such as AGC1 deficiency.




Members

Masahide YAZAKI, MD, PhD

Masahide YAZAKI, MD, PhD


Neurologist and Professor, Department of Biological Sciences for Intractable Neurological Diseases, Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Shinshu University, Matsumoto, Japan. ​

Dr. Masahide Yazaki graduated from Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan (M.D.) in 1992 and he graduated from the Graduate School of Medicine, Shinshu University in 1998 (Ph.D.). He worked as a neurologist in Shinshu University Hospital. In 1999, he moved to Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, Indiana University, USA as a postdoctoral fellow to study the pathogenesis of protein-misfolding disease such as amyloidosis. He returned to Shinshu University in 2002, and became Associate Professor, Department of Neurology and Rheumatology, Shinshu University School of Medicine in 2011. In 2014, when the Institute for Biomedical Sciences was established in Shinshu University, he moved to Department of Biological Sciences for Intractable Neurological Diseases, Institute for Biomedical Sciences as an Associate Professor. There, he is continuing basic and clinical research on amyloidosis and citrin deficiency. In 2017, he was promoted to be a Professor at the School of Health Sciences and Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Shinshu University. ​

To date, Dr. Yazaki has performed clinical and pathological studies of CTLN2 patients in Japan to elucidate the clinical pictures of CTLN2 and to establish the therapeutic strategy for CTLN2 patients.




Members

Paul Michael YEN, MD

Paul Michael YEN, MD


Dr. Paul Yen is a Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and Head of the Laboratory of Hormonal Regulation in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Program. He obtained his M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, completed his residency in internal medicine at University of Chicago and his endocrinology fellowship at National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior to Duke-NUS he served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Harvard Medical School, and as section chief at The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH. He has served on the editorial boards of Endocrinology, Molecular Endocrinology, and Thyroid.

His current research interests are hormonal regulation of hepatic autophagy and lipid metabolism in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as well as epigenetic regulation of metabolic genes by thyroid hormone.




Citrin Foundation

Citrin Foundation, set up in 2016 to tackle citrin deficiency, aims to provide end-to-end support to all citrin deficiency patients, from funding research that drives effective treatments and eventually cure, and provide support to patients and families. We are a patient-driven, not-for profit organization.

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